Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Big fish, big snake

"Best wishes from Australia.....where the sharks go for their holidays," read the e-mail I received last night from a follower named Michael. He kindly pointed out the top photo taken at the South Australian Museum in 1914. It shows a cast of a basking shark, with the director of the museum at that time - Edgar Waite(1866-1928) - third from the left. As the second photo shows, the basking shark is a filter feeder, and can grow up to 33' long (second only to the whale shark in size). Then tonight at dinner, my friend Sheila pointed out that a fossil snake has been found that dwarfs modern snakes. It was in the same family as today's constrictors, as the vertebrae illustrate. The monstrous snake was 43' in length, weighed up to 2,500 lbs., and was wider than a doorway!

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